There are whispers that he is injured, but Scotland don’t produce many specimens like him. made them grand slam winners and got them to 4th in the RWC. Playing Jones and Johnson together v Ireland will be like world cup deja vu. We lack quality depth at LH, 8, and wing. Not sure about picking Steyn or Tagive and leaving people like Bennett at home, but I don’t have all the info on those two. At the minute every side bar Italy is a better side, IMO. Especially at international level. I assume its Townsend’s fault that we are struggling for LH props. He’s also scored more tries that those two this season and has a bit of ‘x-factor’ about him. He really needs to have taken a few steps back after last years failures..listen to good advice from people that matter and make the changes needed. Fairly balanced but Johnson has perhaps the least form aside from a great game against Exeter. would have made Ritchie captain….Hogg is too mentally immature to be a captain. I have to say I am a little bit dissappointed in some ways as there seems to be quite a lot of developmental inclusions which I feel a bit (world cup cycle)ish. I’m excited about Alex Craig. I don’t think he’s any worse defensively, either. The whole Toony thing needs a defuse. Johnson/Harris: where’s the fun in that? Haining and Crosbie Toony is not really a people person , is he ! The Scotland national rugby union team represents Scotland in men's international rugby union is administered by the Scottish Rugby Union. On Bennett’s Omission it’s great to see him playing regularly, fit and healthy but I still don’t believe he’s back to the level he was at in 2013 -2015, fingers crossed he can get there. Bhatti and Sutherland I think you’re right about the bad foundations, but if Toonie somehow miraculously won the 6N it would certainly diffuse the whole thing and he’d be lauded as a hero. There’s no doubting his talent or commitment but is he composed enough to captain? It will be great to see some familiar faces, welcome a few back into our squad and also introduce some new players to Test match rugby.". Let Toony and Hogg sort it out between them.I think a bad choice of captain but I hope I am wrong.After all,I can afford to be wrong,What does it cost me to be wrong ! What would be the tipping point to his dismissal? Get this right early and we could have something special that we have been lacking for many years for a centre partnership at international level. This has got to be our best six nations ever. Hoyland is a very brave headless chicken, a few players in to train with the squad and being looked at for the future/emergency. = 6, No Room for M. Fag or Wilson? Otherwise….!! For backrow cover (assuming Ritchie, Watson and Bradbury start) I would have liked to have seen Fagerson (hopefully later in the tournament) but reckon Crosbie has got bags of potential. Bennett is probably the unluckiest in the backs with a glut of 13s in fine form and Kyle Steyn offering further cover from the wing. Incidentally this is a man who drops players from one game to the next, brings in long term injured players over fit capable players. Maybe wrong but thought I heard Matt Fagerson has a broken rib which would explain his omission. Scott hasn’t played outside Russell in years and has never partnered any of our 13 options. Gregor Townsend will use this as the second step in a plan, that begins with the 2020 Guinness Six Nations. Squad looks good overall. Presumably Pyrgos is fulfilling the ‘game managing scrum-half’ role, but he can play quickly when it’s on – he has for Edinburgh this year and did for Glasgow (including in their glorious grand final defeat of Munster). We need to select a side that will front up and get stuck in. To be fair, FF, that squad was populated with players who weren’t on form and/or didn’t have significant recent game-time under their belts. Toony has gone all-in with his squad selection and has it all to do to build a team able to restore national credibility after the RWC fiasco. Update your browser to view this website correctly. Nothing new in that. Shame that Fagerson’s out injured, but it’s positive that his exclusion isn’t down to soiling Toonie’s rug or something. Scotland begin their autumn test matches at BT Murrayfield against Georgia on Friday 23 October before facing Wales in Llanelli on 31 October in the rescheduled 2020 Guinness Six Nations fixture. Get that sorted and we will compete. At last! Backs I’m pretty happy with, Mark Bennett must be pretty unlucky as what I’ve seen of him he looks in decent form although perhaps not quite at his excellent best. If he plays well, so does Scotland. Hutchinson was loaned to Bedford to sort his defence. Hogg, Kinghorn*, Hutchinson, Scott, Graham, Russell, Horne, Dell, Brown, Nel, Gray, Toolis, Ritchie, Watson, Bradbury I doubt we’ll get the decisiveness of that outcome though. DVDM will no doubt play wing as soon as is qualified. Cummings/Craig but room for Tom Gordon? so you never know, we might turn them over against expectations. Sorry but bit slow here … What do you mean by ‘Maitland won’t play against Ireland because of the whole Saracens training camps fiasco?’, See Toony’s comments here re Sarries and the schedule: https://www.theoffsideline.com/will-the-gregor-townsend-tombola-throw-up-any-surprise-winners-this-six-nations/. We will see I believe the real qualities of him as a coach if he has reviewed things correctly since our last few outings. Scottish Rugby is the governing body for rugby union in Scotland. He never sparkled in the World Cup. I’d expect Brown/McInally/Ritchie being closer to the coal face and consequently the referee to be heavily relied on. It’s a squad I am not comfortable with, perhaps it’s the lack of old names, but then again the old names didn’t do much for us last year! he has improved at every level he has played at. I want to see Hutchison given the chance. Harris on the bench probably gives the most options. Hoyland/(possibly one of Graham/Kinghorn if Harris or Steyn makes the 23). Ed Hepworth appointed CFO of Six Nations Rugby. All progressed in the RWC, they all are ranked higher in the World Rankings. Menu. A number of previous squad stalwarts miss out, including the oft-debated Wilson and Horne, as well as Sam Skinner, Gordon Reid, Mark Bennett and Duncan Taylor. 1999 were Five Nations Champions. van der Merwe The only other one I’m not that happy with is Pyrgos – would have much rather get someone young/new in than picking someone who is really just another Pete Horne (solid but not outstanding and never going to push us up to top level). I do think we need the like of Crosbie, DuPreez & maybe even Scott to keep them honest & put them on the back foot. It’s not like there are many available wingers that have been left out that we can suggest instead. Ireland is a big test, but they seem to have gone with experience over all else (Sexton as captain even though he’s barely played?) Kinghorn and Hastings aren’t bad replacements but if we really want to do something in the tournament we need our stars fit and firing. I’m comfortable that the three LHs picked are the best available (to my knowledge) but all three lack game time and it is definitely our weakest position. More from the press-conference third hand: James Lang, Richie Gray, Blade also missing out through injury. Zander/WP Other than that, no complaints; except Gordon Reid can count himself a little hard done-by, so I’m guessing he’s out of the squad for the same reason that Batman and Peter Horne are. But he’s still quick. I think it would be unfair to take Bennett from Edinburgh if there was no intent to play him. The big discussions for me are, obviously, who starts in the centre and who provides the backrow cover. Could start Bradbury bring Blade off the bench kinda thing. Remember that our rivals passed on some gems like Hamish Watson (and their fans still make outlandish claims about their equivalents being better!). I felt for him during the world cup where to me he seemed distracted and lacked confidence. Basically Saracens Sunday fixtures and presumably the rest and recovery that follows, clash with Scotland’s training starting on the Monday heading into the opening game. While it could potentially bolster the professional side of the game, it is likely to undermine amateur club rugby which at present is supposed to run the SRU for the benefit of the whole sport. They’re all quality and in form. In the process he turned off the men left behind, that is what I believe is really damaging. Rory Sutherland hasn’t played enough test rugby for us to judge whether he’s been found wanting. I don’t think any of us are under the illusion that Tagive or Steyn for example will feature on match day so no harm in having there initially when the pro-teams are not active. the team is never settled so there is no accountability just threat and fear to motivate. Don’t think too many people can complain about it. Well, not quite unfettered, or he wouldn’t be complaining about Sarries’ schedule. He does, from a distance, seem to struggle with player relationships…and accepting when his methods and selections failed. It wouldn’t quite be my preferred team; I’d pick Scott at 12 (though I’m not sure who I’d put outside him), Horne would be my starting scrum-half, and I’d go with Sutherland over Bhatti, and Haining over du Preez. Let’s see what happens. Scotland Rugby team scheduled to face South Africa in 2020. We may want the national team to perform well but such an outcome will only entrench Dodson. With Glasgow’s player management protocols hopefully he should be less injury-prone, too. Glad PHorne and Wilson no longer selected. It’s ok, he is just keeping the spot warm for VDM later in the year! I think Scott has done enough do merit another chance, though Finn often plays better with another ball player outside him (like he did with Pete Horne at 12) so he could stick with Johnson. All his players are fit so we should expect high things from Toony and Hogg. point to that level of actual achievement. It’s an interesting selection. Other than that it’s as expected with some novelty Toonying for interest. His time will come – and Glasgow could use him at the moment in any case. I think I’ve fully given up on being optimistic and hopeful but anyway as usual best of luck to the guys I’ll be cheering them on! Scotland Six Nations Squad 2020 Ahead of the restart of the 2020 Six Nations Gregor Townsend has named his Autumn Scotland squad with several new faces and Finn Russell’s return. Reid, on the other hand, has done pretty well for Scotland when called upon. Will see how Hogg goes as captain but I have a few reservations. Leading from the back so to speak, as others have pointed out, didn’t stop Irvine, Hastings or Paterson. If picked on form then difficult to see why Bennett left out + I’d have R Gray. So how has Ratu Tagive done, enough to be in the squad after what looks like only 10 appearances in 3 years? Very pleased to see Toony going with form for this squad. He’s had few opportunities, I grant you, but he’s not set the heather ablaze when he’s had the chance, however limited that may have been. Read more information about browsers and how to upgrade yours. – Bench is mainly about impact. How exactly is Haining, Gordon and CdP better than Matt Fagerson? DOOMED I SAY! Its going to say a lot for Hoggy’s maturity and patience come the moment when under pressure and we’re chasing a game. In the 23 forwards there are five players who did not feature in the 2020 Guinness Six Nations earlier in the year, with Glasgow Warriors trio Richie Gray (lock), Rob Harley (back-row/lock) and Kebble selected alongside London Irish flanker Blair Cowan, who won his last Scotland cap in 2016 and earns his first call up under Townsend. I would be interested to see also a Scott and Hutchinson or Scott and Jones partnership. However, its Toonies game plan which I hope has changed massively is what I am looking forward to. Townsend just confirmed M Fagerson has a fractured rib which will keep him out for a few weeks. © Copyright Scottish Rugby Union Limited 2021. The newly formed Autumn Nations Cup begins in November with Scotland in Pool B alongside France and Fiji who they will play at BT Murrayfield as well as an away test match against Italy. Win the Grand Slam or win three games ? But something is lacking. Maybe Sutherland will turn out to be someone who blossoms with maturity, but for the 6N I’d rather stick with Reid. Cupboard looks pretty bare. McCallum Results have not been forthcoming, but “sack the coach” doesn’t identify what the issues really are…it could be any number of things. I think the only refinement I’d make to our shared position is that mental fortitude seems to be what’s lacking most. Success or failure, it’s not all down to one man. Do you really mean ‘strongest ever’? WE ARE DOOMED! Richie Gray on his way back to Glasgow next season – hopefully back into the Scotland squad at some point too. Gregor Townsend said: “We are very much looking forward to coming back together as a coaching and playing group after such an unprecedented and challenging period in our sport and across society in general. Probably the closest to a Horne/Jones type combo in terms of a baller at 12. 3 or 4 people, presumably, would need to be crocked before Tagive actually makes the 23. It’s a bit of a curate’s egg: good in places. Townsend has always been about fast rugby and lets face it we’re not going to beat Ireland by playing their game so let’s just pick a team to play our game rather than counteract the oppositions. It may all backfire, but right now it makes sense. The pundits say that’s all sorted now and he’s one of the best defenders in his league. Interesting, Edinburgh Forwards; Bhatti, Sutherland, McInally, Nel, Bergan, Gilchrist, Toolis, Bradbury, Ritchie, Watson, Haining, Crosbie = 12. Follow Rory on twitter @scotrugbyblog. His squad selection suggests to me he is at least trying to do that…whether its enough time will tell…and wether he has much more time will no doubt depend on this 6N. 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